“Syrian Armenians are industrious, creative, spirited and productive. A national strategy must develop to invest that immense potential in the homeland.”
–Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO
And yet there is none!
The Syrian conflict continues to spill blood, sow destruction, harvest lives and destroy communities. The Syrian Armenians, an integral part of a diverse, harmonious and peaceful mosaic, which has bloomed, blossomed and prospered since the remnants of the Genocide survivors took refuge there one hundred years ago, have dearly paid their share of the calamity that has struck Syria. An unimaginable and irreplaceable industrial economic wealth is in ruins. Savvy traders, who kept the wheels of a healthy national industry running, are out of business. Craftsmen, who not only repaired automated elements of the nation’s industrial machine but recreated it, are lamentably dispersed and displaced. Engineers and entrepreneurs who built a modern network of roads and highways in the country have closed shop. It is a tragedy of world war dimension. It is reminiscent of the Genocide that befell our people a century ago. Most have relocated. A tiny, albeit courageous, core leadership and a fraction of the community are left behind facing a dark, grave and unpredictable future.
After three years of uninterrupted sustenance and as a result of the pounding pain and diminution on the ground, a new strategy had to emerge. And it did. We called it Syria Lifeline. It’s a strategy that assists the willing but unable, the most vulnerable segment of the community, move away from the war zone and bridged through Lebanon, flown to the safe haven of the homeland.
We put Syria Lifeline to the test and are silently moving, one family at a time. No drums, no trumpets and in full coordination with the leadership of the Armenian Evangelical community in Syria. Nothing is spared from our ongoing basic sustenance of those who are still in the war zone. But we have to expand our efforts in this humanitarian rescue mission to help our kin move to safety.
We admit the strategy still lacks coordination and settlement assistance in the homeland, a very important link in the cycle of safety rings. But we are working on it and hope to make headway with the assistance of other humanitarian entities.
At this crucial junction in the history of the Near East, Syria Lifeline is an act of extreme national strategic importance both for the Diaspora communities in the Near East and the homeland, Armenia. The AMAA needs your generous support to continue our rescue mission and prepare to do more as the situation continues to deteriorate in Syria and in particular in the embattled city of Aleppo, home to the largest Armenian community.
At the Centennial of the Genocide, while we continue to pay tribute and respect our dead, it is far more important to save those who are living, get them out of the danger zone, give them a chance to live, create, prosper, pursue happiness, invest their immense potential in the homeland and praise the Lord.